The pug nosed, cauliflower eared challenger certainly looked like he took the brunt of the punches when the final bell rang. His pasty skin was split and bleeding. His light eyes showed the 1000 yard stare of a shell shocked casualty of war.
And, the faithless look on his face when the "judges'" score cards were read and his hand was hoisted in 'victory' gave away his own personal disbelief. His own doubt. His own understanding that he was a pawn in the game. That for this moment, though his body and mind told him that he was beaten by his opponent, he was the 'champion'.
Almost all accounts of the fight between Forrest Griffin and Rampage Jackson question the decision. Most say that at best, Griffin might have earned a draw. Few that we have read do not question what sort of math the judges used to give Griffin the unanimous decision and the belt.
Famed MMA trainer, Juanito Ibarra (who has trained at least one UFC champion), had a cage-side seat for the fight. Ibarra has been cage-side for the past few UFC light heavyweight title fights. He, as much as anyone, is qualified to sort out the judging.
He was baffled that Byrd and Silbert gave Griffin a 10-9 advantage in the first round, during which Jackson dropped the challenger. In Ibarra's view, the knockdown warranted a 10-8 round in Jackson's favor. He believes Jackson won the third and fourth rounds on 10-9 scores, though he said Griffin deserved a 10-8 second round and a 10-9 fifth. That comes out to a 47-46 win for Jackson. - from sherdog.com
We just hope this wasn't the UFC and the judges' way of sending a message to Jackson. In a presser prior to the fight, Jackson acknowledged that much of his passion for MMA is based on the joy of getting the chance to beat up white people without repercussions.
Unfortunately, it seems Dana White is sending Rampage a pretty clear message:
Beating up white people will now come with a price.